My plans to go to bed early on Friday were thwarted when I was directed to Star Wars Episode I showing on TNT, then stumbled across “The Fugitive” in progress on a different channel. And once I start watching that movie, there is no chance I’m turning it off.
- In case you missed it, the Chicago Bears are increasing ticket prices in 2020. If not, here’s a tweet (which includes a hilarious twist):
- So while I realize I put this nugget in yesterday’s Bullets, I did not provide myself with an opportunity to expand with some of my own thoughts beyond my initial reaction of disappointment. About 24 hours later, I feel more than that original disappointment. Frankly, I’m a bit miffed about it (and I don’t even have season tickets). It’s only January 25, and it hasn’t been an easy offseason for Bears fans. They’ve watched the Vikings win a playoff game, the Packers make it to the NFC Championship Game, one quarterback they passed on in the 2017 NFL Draft lead an epic comeback to secure his team’s first playoff team, and the other first-round QB from the same class engineer two come-from-behind wins after trailing by double digits en route to taking his team to the Super Bowl. Plus the news about the team moving training camp out of Bourbonnais and into Halas Hall, which figures to be a less inclusive place for fans because of tighter quarters. And now a ticket-price increase? Mind you, these aren’t significant strikes to the psyche of a fandom that has been through a lot, but these jabs take their toll.
- It hasn’t been all bad. The new offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and offensive line coach come highly regarded. At least that has gotten off on the right foot.
- ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft over at ESPN. And even though it is exclusive content shared via the ESPN+ brand, I thought there was some interesting nuggets here. Among them, Kiper has four first-round quarterbacks going off the board. Joe Burrow (1st, Bengals), Tua Tagovailoa (5th, Dolphins), and Justin Herbert (6th, Chargers) go in the top-10. Meanwhile, Jordan Love (24th, Saints) gets plucked as the heir apparent to Drew Brees. Kiper envisions a scenario in which Love develops for as many as two years behind Brees or a bridge quarterback before taking over. “Love can make every throw, and NFL teams are high on his talent,” Kiper writes. “He could be a first-round pick with a strong pre-draft process.” WELP, I have a feeling the Jordan Love hype train isn’t slowing down any time soon.
- In a matchup between prospects I’m intrigued by, the defensive back from my alma mater (SIU) gets the best of a tight end prospect who is drawing rave reviews and has the Bears’ attention:
Jeremy Chinn vs Adam Trautman. A rare loss for the Dayton TE. Good coverage by Chinn pic.twitter.com/u2vhSuTzC9
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) January 24, 2020
- Between his production, extensive commitment to football, and performance against better competition, I don’t feel like I’m going on a limb when I type that Adam Trautman isn’t Adam Shaheen. But because both guys share the same first name and played their college ball at Ohio schools not known for churning out football talent, it’s going to be hard for Trautman to shake Shaheen comps. In doing some reading, Trautman might be a prospect who goes off the board on Day 3. And while it is way too early to make strong predictions about where the Bears will go in the draft, I wouldn’t mind if they snagged a top-tier tight end (Brycen Hopkins, Jared Pinkney, Cole Kmet) with a second-round pick, then doubled-down with Trautman with one of their Day 3 selections. Chicago needs depth and upside at tight end moving forward, and I suppose a good place to get it could be in this particular draft.
- The Bears met with two talented inside linebacker prospects during Senior Bowl week:
The highest-graded Senior Bowl LB's pic.twitter.com/Pq7aTi2WfX
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 24, 2020
- Trust is key:
Congratulations on your retirement, and a great career Eli! Not going to lie though, I wish you hadn’t won any Super Bowls.
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 24, 2020
- The 2020 season will mark the third straight year in which the Bears play the Rams, the second consecutive season in which they have played them on the road, and a third different site for the matchup between the two teams:
The future home of the Rams and Chargers is nearly complete. Here's how SoFi Stadium, the site of the 2022 Super Bowl, came together. pic.twitter.com/Ogoq3yzAQq
— USA TODAY Sports (@usatodaysports) January 24, 2020
- Bottle it up and bring it back north with you, Mr. Finley:
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) January 25, 2020